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Ban on private use of Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies considered in India by financial regulatory body

Anirudh VK

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Ban on private use of Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies considered in India by financial regulatory body
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In a recent meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council [FSDC] in India, regulatory parties are reported to be considering a ban on the private use of cryptocurrencies in India. This comes at a time when the country is facing the stifling of innovation due to lack of regulatory clarity.

The meeting, which was held with the Union Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley, was said to have “deliberated upon the issues and challenges of crypto-assets/cryptocurrency”. The council was said to have been briefed upon the issue by a “high-level committee” set-up by the Secretary of Economic Affairs to address it.

It was also revealed that an “appropriate legal framework” was to be set in place to ban the use of private cryptocurrencies in the country while encouraging the use of the distributed ledger technology.

This goes along with the statements given by Jaitley during his speech at the budget meeting of 2018-19, where he stated that cryptocurrencies would not be accepted as legal tender in the country. Moreover, he also stated that “necessary steps” would be taken to combat the use of the asset class in illegitimate activities.

Currently, firms in the cryptocurrency space in the country are facing the music, as seen by the arrest of the co-founder of Unocoin, Harish BV. He was taken into custody by the Central Crime Branch for opening of a cryptocurrency ATM in Bengaluru. He stated:



“The minister’s statement was clear; he stated that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say ‘illegal tender’. There’s a huge difference. It means you bear the risk of your investment and there’s no regulation for the industry.”

Indian exchanges have also begun to feel the fire of regulatory uncertainty as seen by the shutdown of one of the country’s first Bitcoin [BTC] exchanges, Zebpay. They stopped services late last month, quoting “regulatory and banking problems” due to the Reserve Bank of India forbidding banks to transact with companies dealing in cryptocurrencies. The exchange stated that this ban had “crippled [their] ability to transact business meaningfully”.

The Supreme Court is also yet to pass a verdict in a case that could potentially ease some of the regulatory pressure, adding to the uncertainty in the subcontinent.





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Anirudh VK is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has a passion for writing and interest towards the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He does not own any cryptocurrencies currently.

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HitBTC responds to allegations of insolvency, refutes claims made by Redditors

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HitBTC responds to allegations of insolvency
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HitBTC, a Hong Kong-based exchange has been the center of accusations among users on Reddit, Twitter, and other forums. HitBTC users started complaining about issues regarding withdrawal and extensive procedures after one particular user @ProofofReserach put out a thread alleging insolvency of HitBTC.

To put an end to all the accusations, HitBTC has broken its silence with a blog post explaining their side of the story. According to HitBTC, their systems performed well during the winter of 2017-18, however, HitBTC mentioned that due to overwhelming demand for the services, they experienced bottlenecks at an operational level.

Referring to the BitcoinExchangeGuide article, HitBTC responded:



“A widely quoted article, in its entirety, is based on only 2 AML cases. One of them was initiated as part of the investigation into the December, 2018 BTCP security breach, at the request of the coin’s core team. Unfortunately, there is no clear indication of the nature of the second case that can be discerned from the article. The author of the article failed to track the deposit/withdrawal dynamics that did not uncover any irregularities. A simple block explorer or our public System Monitor would suffice for these purposes”

Additionally, referring to the altcoins being added and removed from the platform, the exchange said that they were honored to work with a diverse range of projects, however, since the crypto sphere was still nascent, there were lapses in their judgment in assessing the integration partners. With the above-mentioned prominent cases, HitBTC also addressed other topics.

@ProofofResearch replied to HitBTC’s blog:

“Is there a reason why you’re unable to tell people us where your Bitcoin storage is at? If what I published is as untrue as you claim it is, then providing a wallet address where your Bitcoin funds are stored will go a long way in *proving that*.”





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